05/04/2017 03:44 EDT | Updated 05/04/2017 03:44 EDT

I'll Always Be Her Mom, No Matter Where Her Feet Take Her

It never ceases to amaze me how fast my child grows. It seems like I tuck her into bed at night and when she wakes the next morning she has managed to Hulk out of every article of clothing in her closet.

Even more so, I can't seem to keep up with her feet. It seems like they are growing at rapid-fire speed. I mean, didn't we JUST buy her a new pair of running shoes? So, the other day when I noticed her struggling to force her feet into her current pair, accompanied by exasperated sighs, I knew it was time to make a visit to the mall.

childrens shoes

(Photo: Alyce Kominetsky)

As we walked through the aisles, we both admired the tiny shoes she used to wear. The ones that I have vivid memories of struggling to get on her feet and then fighting her tooth and nail to keep them on. She always did love running barefoot, free of the constraints of laces and buckles. I heard my daughters voice exclaim, "Look at how cute these ones are!" as she held up a small pair of teeny tiny sneakers. I remembered picking out a pair very similar for her. It seems like only yesterday. She was much smaller then, buckled up in her stroller.

We continued to browse the aisles until she found a pair she loved. I watched as she slipped them on her growing feet with ease. She rarely needs my help putting them on anymore. I no longer have to struggle or fight her to keep them on. She loves to run and no longer complains about the laces or buckles. She knows these shoes will be part of her adventures... climbing, digging, swinging. I watched as she confidently checked herself out in the mirror as she proclaimed, "These are the ones, mama!"

I realized that these little feet are starting to travel more and more without me.

When we got home, she played outside, testing out her new shoes. She's old enough to play in the yard without constantly needing me and requiring me to help her climb or soar on the swing. She is fiercely independent, this growing girl of mine.

As I moved her shoes to the front door last night I placed them beside my own. Suddenly I realized how much her little feet have grown. No more baby toes. No more tiny sneakers.

I realized how many miles our feet have travelled together, and how many more we will travel. But mostly I realized that these little feet are starting to travel more and more without me. Another pair will soon replace these shoes, and another, and another, until one day they won't be permanently placed at my front door.

Her feet will carry her wherever she needs to go. The road ahead is endless and full of dreams of possibilities. And, although I can't walk everywhere with her, she will always be by my side because she is a piece of me. And I am a piece of her. No matter the size of her shoes.

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